The term “International Spirit” denotes the network of maritime communication and exchange in the southern Aegean during the third millennium BC, which is usually considered to be a relatively bounded sociohistorical phenomenon. This article exposes the need for understanding the International Spirit as a heterogeneous, dynamic, and open-ended field of social discourse. Such understanding is supported through the employment of recent advances in archaeological theory regarding cultural hybridization. It is suggested that the latter shares the same basic ways of operation with almost all other types of social communication. Therefore, the Early Bronze Age cemeteries in Attica, Euboea, or northern Crete, featuring assemblages with mixed cultural traits, should be considered as examples of such intense, and thus hybridizing, cultural discourse. The Early Cycladic communities may have pursued this type of interaction in order to balance between two pressing needs: subsistence through agropastoral activity and social reproduction through seafaring and exchange.

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